After three weeks, things continue to move at quick pace for Massachusetts Casino growth. With every passing day, there is more acceptance AND more opposition. Let’s see what has transpired in the last few weeks.
September 24th – There are three casino companies that continue to battle for that sole casino license in the Boston Area: Suffolk Downs and Caesars, Wynn Resorts in Everett and a Foxwoods operation in suburban Milford.
September 28th – Casino opposition schedules a public meeting in Palmer to get more support against the Mohegan Sun Palmer Casino proposal. Meanwhile….
Caesars CEO Gary Loveman, in response to opposition in the Boston area, lamented what he called anti-casino “hysteria” and predicted a Boston casino could be wildly popular with international visitors.
September 30th – Only one developer has filed an application for the Southeastern Massachusetts casino license ahead of Monday’s deadline, leaving state gambling regulators unsure if the region will attract enough bidders for a healthy competition.
At the same time, the Mashpee already have what many developers desire: a community that wants them. Taunton residents voted in a non-binding referendum to support a tribal casino project.
What the Mashpee lack is sovereign tribal land on which to build. The tribe can only run a gambling business on land held in trust on their behalf by the federal government.
October 1st – Putting to bed what had been a bit of a hotly contested issue in the city of Boston including rather heated comments from both mayors – the Boston’s City Council determined that just the neighborhood of East Boston should have a say.
October 3rd – Massachusetts gambling regulators said Mohegan Sun had cleared a required background check and could continue its pursuit of a resort casino in the town of Palmer. Also, the commission announced that Penn National Gaming had cleared a background check and could move forward in a bid to open a slots parlor at the Plainridge harness race track in Plainville.
October 4th – Opponents of the Massachusetts Casino Deal are step up their efforts to include a repeal question on the November 2014 ballot.
Also on October 4th – Three companies formally applied to operate a slots parlor, the first type of expanded gambling facility expected to open in Massachusetts – Cordish Cos., a Baltimore-based group which has proposed a slots parlor in Leominster; Penn National Gaming, which hopes to add slot machines at the Plainridge harness race track in Plainville; and Raynham Park, which hosted dog racing until it was outlawed in Massachusetts in 2009.
October 11th – The revised gaming compact reached between Gov. Deval Patrick and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe clears a legislative hurdle, as the House approved an agreement that would steer up to 21 percent of the proposed Taunton casino’s profits to state coffers. Cape and Islands legislators unanimously joined in the 116-38 vote to ratify the compact, which would take effect only if the tribe wins federal approval to take land in a Bristol County office park into trust and construct a $500 million casino off Route 140.
Now we’re quickly caught up. That’s all for now.